Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quotes to Live By (2 of 2)



There is something greater and purer than what the mouth utters. Silence illuminates our souls, whispers to our hearts, and brings them together. Silence separates us from ourselves, makes us sail the firmament of spirit, and brings us closer to heaven. 
Kahlil GIbran

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.” 
Kahlil Gibran, The Broken Wings

Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's 
And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's 
And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into 
Who among you does not feel that his power to love is 
And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not form love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love 
And is not time even as love is, undivided and placeless? 
Kahlil Gibran

Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course.
Kahlil Gibran

Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now. 
Marcel Proust

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. 
Marcus Aurelius

True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: “You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise.” And everything is turned to one’s advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art- and this art called “life” is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend? 
Marcus Aurelius 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

 My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Maya Angelou

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.
Neil Gailman

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. 
Patanjali 

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. Either there will be something solid for us to stand on, or we will be taught how to fly.
Patrick Overton

A billion stars go spinning through the night, 
blazing high above your head. 
But IN you is the presence that will be, 
when the stars are dead. 
Rainer Maria Rilke

Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats before you and no crowds shout your name. 
Robert L. Stevenson

The World is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page. 
St. Augustine 

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 
Steve Jobs

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Your life may change, but your dream doesn’t have to. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Your spouse and children need not get in its way, because the dream is within you. No one can take your dream away. 
Tom Clancy 

Of all the things that can be stolen from you – your possessions, your youth, your health, your words, your rights – what no one can ever take from you is your freedom to choose what you will believe in, and who and what your heart will love.
Unknown


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Another 20 Desserts, Dishes and Drinks in Nairobi You Must Try

As promised, here's part 2! Haven't checked out part 1? Do so here!

Incidentally, this happens to by my 250th published post!

1. Bhajias from Bhajia Corner? Maru Bhajia Place? (no one could remember the actual name) in Diamond Plaza. There seems to be unanimous agreement that the best maru bhajias in town are from this little place in Diamond Plaza. Yes, we may not remember the name. but those of you who've been to Diamond Plaza know EXACTLY what I'm talking about! To those who haven't yet been - once you go to the food court, you'll be swarmed with lots of waiters trying to get your to order from them. However, just ask for the maru bhajia place and you'll be directed accordingly!

2. Nyama choma at Njugunas Place. Is there any food that's as quintessentially Kenyan as nyama choma (literally, roast meat) is? Njugunas is reputed to have the best in town - soft, perfectly done, and flavourful. No more chewing one piece for five minutes!

3. Heavenly beef at Zen Garden. In case you couldn't tell already, Zen Garden is one of my favourite restaurants in Nairobi. I love going there, but at the same time, whenever I go, I want to eat EVERYTHING! Unfortunately, that hasn't been physically possible... yet! This beef is lovely and perfectly cooked with teriyaki sauce. If you're making a list of the things you can't miss out on in Nairobi, this HAS to be on it!



4. Chicken biryani from Khazana at Village Market. Despite not being a dish of Kenyan origin, biryani has almost become a staple for us!



5. Tres leches cake at Mercado. Tres leches is a cake that's been soaked in three types of milk. Not only is Mercado one of the only places in Nairobi that does it, but they also do it well!



6. Tagliolini al nero at Lucca (Villa Rosa Kempinski).



7. Frozen key lime pie from About Thyme. I know, I know, frozen key lime pie? Doesn't sound the most appetising, right? Trust me though, this is AMAZING. Very light and refreshing, with a perfect blend of flavours. I first tried this on recommendation from About Thyme's owner - then fell in love, and dragged my best friend over to the restaurant to make her try it too!



8. Fresca y menta margarita at Fonda. Thank GOODNESS we have more options for Mexican food in Nairobi! Long gone are the days where you order a burrito at a regular cafe. And of course, you can't have Mexican food without (hopefully giant) margaritas!



9. Palak paneer from Chowpatty.

10. Fried chicken and waffles from Nyama Mama. Technically, Nairobi IS south of the Mason-Dixon line, so this makes total sense (as does the enduring love of country music in southern parts of the country).



11. Grilled lobster at Osteria.

12. Cheese pie from Spring Valley Artisan Cafe. I am actually SO glad I don't work close enough that I can stop by this place everyday, because I'd order their cheese pie whenever I could, and I'd easily be thrice my size! The pastry is just right, the flavour of cheese is perfect (but not overwhelming), and it doesn't drip with fat which can be such a turn off.



13. Thai red curry from Zen Garden. I usually get this with chicken, but you're free to experiment! Red curry is the epitome of Thai food for me, and I honestly believe that Zen Garden does the best red curry in town. Perfectly complemented by their jasmine rice, this curry is rich, hearty and comforting - exactly what a curry should be!



14. Chicken salad with strawberry and poppy seed dressing at Java House. One of the best things about Java is the fact that it has such a variety and can cater to so many different types of cravings. Want something decadent? Go for the chocolate fudge cake. Something hearty? Get a steak. Something light? This salad is perfect for that!



15. White sangria from Tapas/ Artcaffe. I've tried the white sangria at both places MULTIPLE times, and I can honestly say I can't tell the difference, which is why they both made it on the list ;) Red sangria is more popular (at least in Nairobi), but anyone who's tried this white sangria can attest to the fact that it is, indeed, perfect.



16. Chorizo from hell from La Tasca Spanish Corner. This is one of those I haven't tried yet, and I'm almost afraid to - it looks like pure fire! However, it comes highly recommended by a friend and fellow food blogger.



17. Crispy duck wonton with fresh mango salad and plum sauce at Pan Asian Yao. Done by the same group that brought us Nyama Mama, Pan Asian Yao is a newer Asian fusion restaurant in Nairobi. This dish has been described as 'to die for' - so what're you waiting for?!



18. T-bone steak at Trattoria.



19. Zinger strips KFC. Okay, okay, stop laughing. Yes, KFC isn't Kenyan, but their zinger strips are amazing, and had to make the list!!

20. Funghi pizza from 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza. I have it on good authority that when this pizza is made, angels sing in the kitchen to make it even MORE amazing.


Liked this post? Please let me know - and SHARE :)


Monday, December 4, 2017

Letting Go, pt. 2

If you haven't yet read the post I did a few weeks ago about letting go, you can have a look here! Part two brings in perspectives from some more people - a huge thanks to my contributors!



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From the time I was born, my nana and grandpa have always been a major part of my life. My grandpa would pick me up three days per week from school and gladly bring me to 7-11 for a classic blue raspberry Slurpee. I would go back to their home and my nana would often have sticky buns and make me a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for dinner. I grew up learning how to play cards from my grandpa on the engraved card holder that he built in his workshop. I learned how to be kind from my nana and to appreciate the small things in life. These two individuals are the most selfless individuals I have ever met. I am proud to call them my grandparents.
My nana was the first to pass away, while I was a sophomore in high school. For my entire life she had been living with multiple sclerosis – she had lived for so long in so much pain but not once can I remember her complaining. It was difficult to lose her, but I believe everyone in my family understood that for the first time in years she would no longer be in pain. There was a sort of comfort in these thoughts that brought us all closer. Even for my grandpa, who had been married to her for almost 50 years, I could sense a sad relief knowing that she was able to feel better than she had in a very long time. In my eyes, this was one of the most selfless acts and I admire him for saying goodbye so gracefully and with such bravery for him to carry on with his new life. 

My grandpa passed away my junior year of college. He had congestive heart failure and his heart was failing him as time passed by, but his mind was the same as it had ever been. He had been playing cards every week with friends, attended every Lion’s Club meeting and would never miss an event. He never failed to call my mother to say goodnight and chat every night at 9:00. My parents, brother, and I went to visit him on his last day and spent time catching up, joking about life, hearing him sing some Irish diddies and tell a few of his countless Irish riddles. None of us really knew it was his last day, but I believe he expected it more than anyone. He called every one of his friends that day to thoroughly enjoy one more conversation and unknowingly say his farewell. He ate the ice cream sundae which he had been eagerly awaiting all week and passed away in his sleep.

Somewhere, my grandpa is dancing with my nana - he with a glimmer in his eye and she smiling so candidly in an elegant dress. Though it has been years now, there are times that I miss them so strongly I can barely keep it inside. These nostalgic feelings are paired with the fond memories I share with the rest of my family. I admire and aspire to have grace and strength like my grandpa to say goodbye, but it’s a work in progress. So I find myself passing by a silk scarf or watching an old “I Love Lucy” re-run or hearing an old Irish diddy, and the two of them live on within me.

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In the context of relationships, I’ve found that there are two sides to letting go. The first is where you consciously have to make the decision to let go of someone, and the second where the decision is made for you (be it down to another person’s decision or just circumstance).

Having experienced both angles, I think making a conscious decision to let go is the more difficult side to deal with. The mere fact that this is something you’re deliberating highlights the fact that there’s an internal conflict you’re facing – and being in this state of uncertainty I think is in itself the issue. While letting go isn’t a decision that’s easy or something that should be taken lightly, being lost in the middle is probably worse than making the ‘wrong’ decision. The way I see it, 50% of the time you’ll make the right choice and the other 50% will still give you a second chance – humans are an extremely forgiving species, and life gives you new opportunities every day. Meanwhile not choosing to pick a side leaves you wrong 100% of the time!

Being on the receiving end of a decision to let go is something I’ve actually found to be much easier. While it may be harsher and more intense, it’s also cleaner. From the receiving end, I was (eventually) able to take comfort in the fact that some things were out of my hands and therefore I couldn’t have any regrets for the things I could not control. All that was left to do was to go through the motions that followed and come out the other side.

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It’s easy to lose sight of reality when the relationship you’re letting go off is with someone who has increasingly become such a core part of your identity.

The situation by default is typically very emotionally charged and it’s hard to see past emotions with clarity of judgement.

My advice would be to reason the relationship out with logic and confide in someone if it makes this process of being objective with yourself any easier... the sooner you are able to accept that letting go is the best way forward, the easier it will be for you to overcome the accompanying discomfort that the change will bring.

Lastly, never let the storms of the past discolour your experience of the present - especially when it comes to seeking out new relationships.

Being let down or disappointed once, twice or even thrice is not reason enough to deny the world from benefiting from everything you have to share! Because remember: you are MORE than worth it.

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